Five Bad Password Habits to Break Immediately
The average “bad habit” isn’t normally a huge deal. We all have them: letting emails pile up in the inbox, eating fast food for lunch, leaving dishes in the sink. But when it comes to managing your passwords, getting into a bad pattern can cost you and your business serious time and money.
The effects of a cyberattack on a small business can be almost impossible to recover from. Jungle Disk’s cybersecurity suite will help protect your business and your data from cyberattacks, network crashes and server failures, but nothing can protect you against poor password management habits.
We’ll give you the right strategies and tools to prioritize password management. With TeamPassword, building good password habits is easy. Read on to learn how you can fix your bad password habits today.
Don’t use the same password everywhere.
This is the Golden Rule of Passwords. It’s important to remember that your overall password security is only as good as the weakest security on the website you’re using. Having the same password across several platforms is one of the riskiest things you can do online. Somehow, we continue to hear stories of companies using the same password for everything; see Dropbox, Adobe, and the Heartbleed bug that affected several websites. One unimportant site gets hacked, and the attacker now has access to all the company’s accounts.
Stop using the same password! Stop. it. right. now. Instead, use TeamPassword’s secure password generator to create a unique, randomized password for each account. TeamPassword lets you share login access with those who need it, without ever revealing the actual password. All your shared logins will be securely stored in the browser extension for easy access.
Don’t use personal information in your password.
It might be easier to remember your passwords if they’re all the names of your children, ages of your grandchildren, and favorite cats. But including personal information like the town where you live, type of car you drive, or your mother’s maiden name makes the guessing game a lot easier for hackers — especially as this type of information is readily available on your social media profile.
Create a passphrase by stringing several words together to make a short sentence (using upper and lowercase letters). Use a quote from a favorite book or movie or make up a mnemonic device to help you remember. Passwords that are long and complex (16-34 characters, containing both upper and lowercase letters, numbers, and special characters) are much more secure against today’s brute-force cracking software (which can unscramble 6-10 character passwords in seconds.)
Don’t save passwords in your browser.
Saving passwords in your browser is quick and easy. But if your computer falls into the wrong hands, then you’ve just given them quick and easy access to every site you’ve logged into over the past several months. Additionally, if you rely on your browser to autofill credentials, then you’re tied to that computer every time you need to access an account. You won’t need your passwords while traveling in Morocco—until your colleague calls in a panic because she’s locked out of the Dropbox folder you created that contains all of the slideshow materials for her big presentation.
TeamPassword’s browser extensions provide the convenience of browser-stored passwords, with the security of our encrypted vault. Plus you can sync it to all of your devices, so you always have the access you need, whenever, and wherever you need it— and can heroically save the day for your colleague’s big presentation.
Don’t share your passwords too liberally.
Company passwords should be shared on a need to know basis. Most businesses are broken into several departments: they may have a web development team, marketing team, PR team, sales team, and finance department. Each department is made up of several employees who all need access to job-specific sites and apps. The marketing and sales teams need access to their clients’ logins, but only those in the finance department need to access the payroll processor. It only takes one resentful employee with access to the company Twitter account to do irreparable damage.
Keep security tight and hassle-free by using TeamPassword’s Groups Feature to organize team members into specific groups. Administrators can easily track password resets and control who has access to which accounts, quickly adding or removing access in just a few clicks. If someone leaves the company or gets transferred to a new department, the administrator simply removes that person from their former groups — no need to stress over the security of the information they once had access to.
Don’t share passwords via email.
Email is an inherently insecure means of communication and should never be used to send sensitive information. You don’t need to be Sony to be a target of an email hack. Emails are usually sent in unencrypted “plain” text, so if it gets intercepted, it won’t take a genius to find your password in it. Additionally, email is saved in several servers on it’s way to your inbox: in the “sent folder of the account it comes from, your own email server, and any other servers it passes through on it’s interweb journey. Even deleted emails aren’t gone forever— they’ll can hang out in trash folders until you remember to empty them. Any of these locations could get hacked, leaving your passwords in plain sight. Plus, who wants to comb through old emails to find a password?
If you’ve forgotten a password and have to reset it, the new password is almost always sent to you via email. This password is meant to be temporary. As soon as you receive that new password, log into the site and change it. See our tips above for building long, complex passwords or passphrases. Better yet, let TeamPassword generate and store a randomized password for you. That way you’ll never forget another password (because we’ll remember it for you) and you’ll have an easy, secure way to share access with those who need it.
If you have any of these bad habits, you need to stop NOW.
TeamPassword is built to help teams avoid these bad password habits and the losses that come with poor password management. Secure your passwords first, then work on organizing that desk drawer…
Try us out today with our free 14-day trial